model train set on track

Flyerizing Thomas; Part 3 Using a Six Wheel Frame and a Cut-Up Schilling Whistle!

e*Train Issue: Nov 2021   |   Posted in:

Thomas is Ready to “GO FLYER!” He has Choo-Choo sounds, smoke and LEDs!

By Carl Giambrone (TCA 83-19674)  and  John Halajko (TCA 84-20653)

This article is a continuation of our earlier Flyerizing Thomas, Part 2 eTrain posting that featured an American Flyer Thomas made from a Schilling whistle and a Flyer Atlantic.

In Part 2 we did the surgery to the Schilling shell and described the modifications to the Flyer smoke unit to allow the chuff piston to be maintained. Let us continue by repeating Step 8.

Drilled holes for LED lights

Paint choice, Oasis Blue

Drill holes in tender for LEDs. Here is the paint that is a close match.

Step 8: add LEDs to tender and then paint your project.

Carl chose to make this a Super-Duper Thomas by adding LEDs to both the engine and tender. He chose to have a set of wheels under the cab, and re-lettered the tender.

Mask off coal piles.

Paint tender trucks, rear wheels and wire LEDs as shown. If you wish you can remove the trailing truck seen above by modifying the draw bar mounts if required.

Carl used a diode and a 470 ohm resistor to set the LED voltage level. Note that the LEDs are wired in series. Check with LED specs before you copy this circuit.

Painting red stripes and a black ladder adds charm.

Carl added lettering: A F, for American Flyer.

Step 9: Install items under the shell and sub assemble the chassis and tender.

Carl installed a quick disconnect to the chassis allowing easy maintenance.

Once done, here is what Carl married together to form the engine. He added two figures to the shell.

Drop in the chassis and install the terminal plate.

Tighten the two tabs to secure chassis to shell.

Here is what the tender bottom looks like after assembly.

We recommend testing the circuits before final assembly. It is easier to test first then assemble afterward then assemble and find issues requiring disassemble.

Step 10: Connect tender to engine and run.

Here is what the project looks like after assembly.

Now you know why Thomas is smiling.

Enjoy the Choo-Choo sounds, smoke and LEDs. The kiddos will just love him.

And, now you know why John’s American Flyer Atlantic version is an easier project. You can Lionelize the Schilling Thomas whistle. See our Part 1 article for information on John’s Classic Toy Trains article. If you have any questions email us at either [email protected] or [email protected].

Enjoy Flyer Thomas 2. All Aboard!